Andy Murray confirms Surbiton Trophy entry following French Open absence

Andy Murray delighted

Andy Murray will return to action next week at the Lexus Surbiton Trophy.

As expected, having skipped the French Open to focus on his Wimbledon preparations, the former world number one has taken a wild card into the Challenger event.

Murray played the second-tier tournament, which always attracts a strong field, last year for the first time since 2004, losing in the semi-finals to Denis Kudla.

Murray said: “The LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy is a great way for me to start my grass-court season. It’s nice to play somewhere that has the feel of a traditional club and I’m hoping to get some good matches and practice in there during the week in front of the British fans.”

Surbiton trophy organisers issued a release confirming the entry of both Murray and rising British star Jack Draper. Draper’s French Open injury has put his place in doubt though.

“In the men’s draw the headline acts are Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Jack Draper,” a press release read.

“Murray, a three-time major champion and former world No 1, returns to Surbiton for the first time since 2004 in decent form, having picked up a series of wins against Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov at his last event in Madrid.

“As the most successful player in Queen’s Club history and as the only Brit to win the Wimbledon men’s singles trophy in 77 years, second seed Murray will be looking to claim his first singles title on home soil since 2016.

“One of the brightest young talents in British tennis, Draper is certainly one to watch for fans at Surbiton this year.

“The 20-year-old will be aiming for a fifth ATP Challenger title on the season having previously won in Forli (three titles) and St. Beiruc (one title).

“Draper reached the quarter-finals at the cinch Championships last year and looks set for another strong summer grass court season.”

Dan Evans is a more surprise inclusion having said following his first-round defeat in Paris to Thanasi Kokkinakis that he would not be seeking a Surbiton wild card.

Evans will also headline the Challenger event in Nottingham the following week, when Murray is more likely to play at the ATP tournament in Stuttgart, where he reached the final last year.

Venus Williams, meanwhile, will make her return to the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham having played there for the first time in 2019.

The 42-year-old has not played a tournament since January but is giving the grass another go and will return to action in the Netherlands at the Libema Open beginning on June 12.